One of my biggest fears in life is that my kids will never know how much I love them. They’re growing up faster than I know how to deal with and I don’t know how to stop time. I want to bottle up every single experience we have together, every lesson life gives us, every little bicker we get into, and every smile that comes from parenting.
The good, the bad, its all equally important to me.
Until I can figure out how to stop that clock, I just keep clicking away. Every photo to me is a way to freeze our time. Every picture has a story I hope to always remember.
Our family loves to camp, and I have a blast experiencing new sites, new forests, and new challenges that come with every trip we take! This is our favorite way to spend our time, in a small trailer with one bathroom, out in the middle of nowhere.
The smell of fresh air, you only get from the great outdoors, the smell of smoke you only get from charcoal briquets heating up for the meals of the day, the smell of sweaty sunscreen and salty kids. I can smell it now just thinking about our summers. I dream about them all year long.
We usually need a break by the time May hits. Our trips typically start with a long truck ride into the mountains of Colorado. We talk about all the animals we hope to see, and the ones we hope not to notice. We giggle about past mishaps of previous trips, like how funny it was when the youngest Walkup fell in the lake while trying to untangle himself from a fishing pole. When we’re about halfway to our destination, we find a little gas station to use the restroom and get a sweet snack, anything that contains high amounts of sugar.
Then we’re off to our final destination!
The anticipation as we drive through the tree line is music to my ears. The gasps and the “oohs and ahhs” as we see a part of nature for the first time always brings a smile to my face!
We find our campsite, park the camper and run into the water as fast as we can! We’re HERE, our happy place. I feel a sense of calm in the mountains. No WIFI, and more importantly, no distractions.
We, as a society, have created a world where it is hard to be “still.” Our kids have sports every night, school activities, homework. Life is becoming claustrophobic with not a moment to breathe. It’s hard to keep a clear head sometimes and center myself.
In the mountains, in a tiny trailer where everything important is within 200 square feet, you realize what is important, what you can and cannot live without.
Everything is clearer. We play together, look for each other, learn together, laugh together and love on each other for a few magnificent days.
Writing and photography by Melissa Walkup.
About Melissa Walkup: Melissa is a lifestyle photographer who lives with her high school sweetheart, and three little humans in a small country suburb east of Denver. She loves capturing every moment of her babies lives and rescuing as many animals as her husband will let her. She is mesmerized by her children and believes there is so much magic in the chaos. She shoots mostly her family but can be talked into a client session every once in a while. She loves to explore, go on adventures with her family, and show her children all the beauty there is to be seen in this world.